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Francesca Micoli, Paolo Costantino, Roberto Adamo
Cell surface carbohydrates have been proven optimal targets for vaccine development. Conjugation of polysaccharides to a carrier protein triggers a T-cell dependent immune response to the glycan moiety. Licensed glycoconjugate vaccines are produced by chemical conjugation of capsular polysaccharides to prevent meningitis caused by meningococcus, pneumococcus and Haemophilus influenzae type b. However, other classes of carbohydrates (O-antigens, exopolysaccharides, wall/teichoic acids) represent attractive targets for developing vaccines...
March 14, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Gary A Toranzos, Raúl J Cano
Environmental forensics is a tool that uses chemical, physical, and statistical techniques to investigate contaminants in the environment as a means to determine attribution for legal purposes. Environmental microbiology is a branch of science that has benefited from the use of metagenomics. The term microbial forensics, which includes nucleic acid sequencing methods, is now used to investigate the sources of microorganisms for attribution purposes as well. Environmental microbial forensics can fully address the questions that must be answered for attribution of causation and subsequent remedial actions within a reasonably short time frame...
March 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
Mayumi Kako, Karen Hammad, Satoko Mitani, Paul Arbon
OBJECTIVES: This review was conducted to explore the literature to determine the availability, content, and evaluation of existing chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) education programs for health professionals. METHODS: An integrative review of the international literature describing disaster education for CBRN (2004-2016) was conducted. The following relevant databases were searched: Proquest, Pubmed, Science Direct, Scopus, Journals @ OVID, Google Scholar, Medline, and Ichuschi ver...
February 19, 2018: Prehospital and Disaster Medicine
Mesut Ortatatli, Kadir Canitez, Sermet Sezigen, Ruşen Koray Eyison, Levent Kenar
Decontamination of suspected packages, such as sealed envelopes, liquids and tools that are likely contaminated with biological agents is of great importance. In this study, we aimed to determine the gamma radiation dose required for the decontamination of paper, fabric and liquid materials without causing any damage to the structure of these materials. Each study group included 11 pieces of paper, fabric and sterile saline contaminated with 0.8 × 105 virulent Bacillus anthracis (B. anthracis) spores. These specimens were exposed to doses of 5...
March 2018: Indian Journal of Microbiology
Valentina Costantino, Mohana P Kunasekaran, Abrar A Chughtai, Chandini R MacIntyre
Background: Globally eradicated in 1980, smallpox is listed as a category A bioterrorism agent. If smallpox were to re-emerge, it may be due to an act of bioterrorism or a laboratory accident, and the impact is likely to be severe. Preparedness against smallpox is subject to more uncertainty than other infectious diseases because it is eradicated, there is uncertainty about population immunity, and the current global health workforce has no practical experience or living memory of smallpox...
February 7, 2018: Military Medicine
Soon-Hwan Kwon, Sujin Lee, Jeyoun Jang, Yujin Seo, Hee-Young Lim
In order to diagnose the infectious disease from clinical samples, the various protocols such as culturing microorganism, rapid diagnostic test using chromatographic method, ELISA, conventional PCR are developed. Since a novel strain of avian influenza can be cross-infected human as well as birds and livestock due to genetic reassortment, some strains of influenza such as H7N9 and H5N1 have emerged as a severe virus which can be threaten the health of poultry as well as human. Therefore we explored the development of simultaneously and rapid diagnostic tool for seasonal influenza (A/H1N1, A/H3N2, B) and highly pathogenic avian influenza (A/H5N1, A/H7N9)...
February 9, 2018: Journal of Medical Virology
Manish Anand
This article highlights the importance of systems approaches in addressing agricultural biosecurity threats. On the basis of documentary analysis and stakeholder interaction, a brief survey of agricultural biosecurity threats and vulnerabilities from global and Indian perspectives is provided, followed by an exploration of technological and institutional capabilities. Finally, a perspective on the agricultural disease diagnostic networks is provided, drawing instances from global developments. Technical barriers to agroterrorism are lower than those to human-targeted bioterrorism, and the sector is unique as even a very small disease outbreak could prompt international export restrictions...
February 6, 2018: Health Security
Theodore J Cieslak, Mark G Kortepeter, Ronald J Wojtyk, Hugo-Jan Jansen, Ricardo A Reyes, James O Smith
Background: Defense policy planners and countermeasure developers are often faced with vexing problems involving the prioritization of resources and efforts. This is especially true in the area of Biodefense, where each new emerging infectious disease outbreak brings with it questions regarding the causative agent's potential for weaponization. Recent experience with West Nile Virus, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, Monkeypox, and H1N1 Influenza highlights this problem. Appropriately, in each of these cases, the possibility of bioterrorism was raised, although each outbreak ultimately proved to have a natural origin...
January 1, 2018: Military Medicine
Sicai Zhang, Francois Lebreton, Michael J Mansfield, Shin-Ichiro Miyashita, Jie Zhang, Julia A Schwartzman, Liang Tao, Geoffrey Masuyer, Markel Martínez-Carranza, Pål Stenmark, Michael S Gilmore, Andrew C Doxey, Min Dong
Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs), produced by various Clostridium strains, are a family of potent bacterial toxins and potential bioterrorism agents. Here we report that an Enterococcus faecium strain isolated from cow feces carries a BoNT-like toxin, designated BoNT/En. It cleaves both VAMP2 and SNAP-25, proteins that mediate synaptic vesicle exocytosis in neurons, at sites distinct from known BoNT cleavage sites on these two proteins. Comparative genomic analysis determines that the E. faecium strain carrying BoNT/En is a commensal type and that the BoNT/En gene is located within a typical BoNT gene cluster on a 206 kb putatively conjugative plasmid...
January 26, 2018: Cell Host & Microbe
Md Koushikul Islam, Mårten Strand, Michael Saleeb, Richard Svensson, Pawel Baranczewski, Per Artursson, Göran Wadell, Clas Ahlm, Mikael Elofsson, Magnus Evander
Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) is a mosquito-borne hemorrhagic fever virus affecting both humans and animals with severe morbidity and mortality and is classified as a potential bioterror agent due to the possible aerosol transmission. At present there is no human vaccine or antiviral therapy available. Thus, there is a great need to develop new antivirals for treatment of RVFV infections. Benzavir-2 was previously identified as potent inhibitor of human adenovirus, herpes simplex virus type 1, and type 2. Here we assess the anti-RVFV activity of benzavir-2 together with four structural analogs and determine pre-clinical pharmacokinetic parameters of benzavir-2...
January 31, 2018: Scientific Reports
Adva Mechaly, Einat Vitner, Haim Levy, Shay Weiss, Elad Bar-David, David Gur, Michal Koren, Hila Cohen, Ofer Cohen, Emanuelle Mamroud, Morly Fisher
Multiplexed detection technologies are becoming increasingly important given the possibility of bioterrorism attacks, where the range of suspected pathogens can vary considerably. In this work, we describe the use of Luminex MagPlex magnetic microspheres for the construction of two multiplexed diagnostic suspension arrays, enabling the antibody-based detection of bacterial pathogens and their related disease biomarkers directly from blood cultures.The first 4-plex diagnostic array enabled the detection of both anthrax and plague infections using soluble disease biomarkers, including PA (Protective Antigen) and anthrax capsular antigen for anthrax detection and the capsular F1 and LcrV antigens for plague detection...
January 31, 2018: Journal of Clinical Microbiology
Maha Alqahtani, Zhuo Ma, Harshada Ketkar, Ragavan Varadharajan Suresh, Meenakshi Malik, Chandra Shekhar Bakshi
Francisella tularensis; the causative agent of tularemia lacks typical bacterial virulence factors and toxins, but still exhibits extreme virulence. The bacterial multi-drug efflux systems consist of an inner membrane, a transmembrane membrane fusion protein and an outer membrane (OM) component that form a contiguous channel for secretion of multitude of bacterial products. Francisella contains three orthologs of the OM proteins; two of these termed as TolC and FtlC are important for tularemia pathogenesis...
January 29, 2018: Journal of Bacteriology
Robert W Cross, Chad E Mire, Heinz Feldmann, Thomas W Geisbert
The filoviruses - Ebola virus and Marburg virus - cause lethal haemorrhagic fever in humans and non-human primates (NHPs). Filoviruses present a global health threat both as naturally acquired diseases and as potential agents of bioterrorism. In the recent 2013-2016 outbreak of Ebola virus, the most promising therapies for post-exposure use with demonstrated efficacy in the gold-standard NHP models of filovirus disease were unable to show statistically significant protection in patients infected with Ebola virus...
January 29, 2018: Nature Reviews. Drug Discovery
N J Mank, S Pote, K A Majorek, A K Arnette, V G Klapper, B K Hurlburt, M Chruszcz
Aspartate β-semialdehyde dehydrogenase (ASADH) is an enzyme involved in the diaminopimelate pathway of lysine biosynthesis. It is essential for the viability of many pathogenic bacteria and therefore has been the subject of considerable research for the generation of novel antibiotic compounds. This manuscript describes the first structure of ASADH from Francisella tularensis, the causative agent of tularemia and a potential bioterrorism agent. The structure was determined at 2.45 Å resolution and has a similar biological assembly to other bacterial homologs...
January 1, 2018: Acta Crystallographica. Section F, Structural Biology Communications
Arik Eisenkraft, Amichay Afriat, Yechiel Hubary, Ron Lev, Hayim Shaul, Ran D Balicer
Unusual biological events and outbreaks require rapid epidemiologic investigation and contact tracing procedures, allowing optimal handling of resources. Currently, these are resource intensive, time consuming, and extremely complex, requiring large teams of trained and prepared personnel. The goal of this study was to determine whether a technological alternative to the classic systems, based on the use of mobile phones and a unique algorithm, could perform a complete epidemiologic investigation in a setting of a bioterrorism scenario...
January 19, 2018: Health Security
Nicholas G Reich, Justin Lessler, Jay K Varma, Neil M Vora
During outbreaks of deadly emerging pathogens (e.g., Ebola, MERS-CoV) and bioterror threats (e.g., smallpox), actively monitoring potentially infected individuals aims to limit disease transmission and morbidity. Guidance issued by CDC on active monitoring was a cornerstone of its response to the West Africa Ebola outbreak. There are limited data on how to balance the costs and performance of this important public health activity. We present a framework that estimates the risks and costs of specific durations of active monitoring for pathogens of significant public health concern...
January 18, 2018: Scientific Reports
Heather P McLaughlin, Blake Cherney, Janetta R Hakovirta, Rachael A Priestley, Andrew Conley, Andrew Carter, David Hodge, Segaran P Pillai, Linda M Weigel, Gilbert J Kersh, David Sue
Coxiella burnetii is a human pathogen that causes the serious zoonotic disease Q fever. It is ubiquitous in the environment and due to its wide host range, long-range dispersal potential and classification as a bioterrorism agent, this microorganism is considered an HHS Select Agent. In the event of an outbreak or intentional release, laboratory strain typing methods can contribute to epidemiological investigations, law enforcement investigation and the public health response by providing critical information about the relatedness between C...
2017: PloS One
Sreelakshmi Panginikkod, Aishwarya Ramachandran, Pratyusha Bollimunta, Roshanak Habibi, Roshan Kumar Arjal, Venu Gopalakrishnan
Melioidosis is a frequently fatal infection caused by the Gram-negative bacillus Burkholderia pseudomallei endemic to Southeast Asia and Northern Australia. It is a rare imported pathogen in the United States and is a potential bioterror agent. We report the case of an 82-year-old previously healthy man who presented with 2 weeks of fever and epigastric pain after he returned from the Philippines. A diagnosis of nondissecting mycotic aneurysm in the descending thoracic aorta was made with the help of CT angiogram and positive blood cultures...
2017: Case Reports in Infectious Diseases
Navaneeth Narayanan, Clifton R Lacy, Joseph E Cruz, Meghan Nahass, Jonathan Karp, Joseph A Barone, Evelyn R Hermes-DeSantis
Biological disasters can be natural, accidental, or intentional. Biological threats have made a lasting impact on civilization. This review focuses on agents of clinical significance, bioterrorism, and national security, specifically Category A agents (anthrax, botulism, plague, tularemia, and smallpox), as well as briefly discusses other naturally emerging infections of public health significance, Ebola virus (also a Category A agent) and Zika virus. The role of pharmacists in disaster preparedness and disaster response is multifaceted and important...
February 2018: Pharmacotherapy
Mary G Reynolds, Andrea M McCollum, Beatrice Nguete, Robert Shongo Lushima, Brett W Petersen
Monkeypox is a smallpox-like illness that can be accompanied by a range of significant medical complications. To date there are no standard or optimized guidelines for the clinical management of monkeypox (MPX) patients, particularly in low-resource settings. Consequently, patients can experience protracted illness and poor outcomes. Improving care necessitates developing a better understanding of the range of clinical manifestations-including complications and sequelae-as well as of features of illness that may be predictive of illness severity and poor outcomes...
December 12, 2017: Viruses
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